Blog of the month

Vital role of service desk in value generation

The one big drawback is that one can never estimate the IT contribution in the value generation. There are multiple unnecessary means which does not solve our purpose of understanding the IT contribution but has also made ITSM a profession concentrating more on worthless activities such as Metrics time to repair etc. We at eStomi highly value our customer’s time and patience, believe in providing the best service.


It’s probably easier to measure the service desk value than the IT value. The service desk has a specific task to help customers or end users when they’ve some problem which hinders their work.

When the service desk fulfilling its mission, it generates value in two ways:

  1. Positive value generation
  2. Reducing negative value loss.


Positive value comes from valuable advice, for example, the service desk can show our customer a better way of doing a task, which makes the customer more efficient.

This is probably impossible to measure completely but might well be the most important element of service desk value: “The person who taught me how to reboot my computer solved hundreds of future problems for me.”


However, the focus is usually on the second way, i.e. the reduction of negative value by restoring the service.

Unfortunately, this traditional ITSM view is very IT and system-centric, while the focus needs to instead be on the customer. This means that instead of measuring system downtime or availability you need to measure the customer experience. Customers are not interested in the problems of the service, they want to solve the situation where they are. By the way, this is a fundamental concept, which we try to solve at prior.

The service desk can also recognize potential or repeating customer problems and find ways to mitigate the effects, reduce the risk of future occurrences, or even prevent the problems happening. These activities are not easily measurable and bad management can prevent staff from “wasting” their time on “unproductive” tasks by concentrating on measuring simple activities like handling incidents and answering calls.


There is a way to measure service desk value by measuring the amount of time that the customers have lost due to IT-related problems. The measurement can be used to calculate an estimate of total lost time and that can be converted into money. It’s not perfect but it’s good enough.

There are different possible ways of measuring the amount of lost time, here are three:

Panel group formation: Set up a representative panel group which reports the time lost at specified times. The panel group will report the lost time during a specified time interval, for example, a day or a week once in a quarter. The panel should represent the whole customer group.

Survey method in practice: Create a survey and ask how many problems the customer has experienced during the last week and how much time the customer has lost due to the problems. A random sample is sufficient, there’s no need to bother everybody.

Calculate Time lost: Estimate lost time from service desk tickets or ask the customer at ticket closure. This can be unreliable because not all customers contact the service desk when they have a problem and it can be difficult to get the customers to report the lost time.

Another approach could be just to ask directly if customers feel that the service desk is valuable to them. This might work best with an open question where the customers can describe the value of the service desk to them. While this method does not provide quantifiable results, it might provide great customer statements which are useful when discussing IT support with IT management.

We at eStomi understand Customer satisfaction is not a good tool for estimating value, the results are difficult to interpret correctly and there are so many elements which affect the results. We also cannot neglect that our customers are the true reflection of our service and highlight the continuous zone of requirement.

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